Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So is it just a fact of life we all have to deal with? I find that after about one hour of riding I start to get a dull ache in my low back that just gets worse if I don't take a break. A quick walk or some stretching and I'm good to go for another 45-60 minutes and then it comes back. The good thing is I usually don't go on rides for more than about three hours so it's not the end of the world. I just remember to stop and take breaks. Or stretch at long red lights.

I have the same problem if I sit too long at a desk or sleep for more than about 6 hours. I think it's just the inactivity that causes it, not the motorcycle. The muscles get cold, the discs in your spine get compressed, the circulation suffers. That and getting old, too. But I hear from some younger riders who have the same issue. It's frustrating because I can ride my mountain bike for 1-2 hours and not have any back pain at all. I also swim and do a lot of yoga-type stretches to stay fit but the pain while motorcycling seems to always pop up right on schedule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
781 Posts
Every bike I've ever owned gave me a back ache Steve, until I sorted things out. Foot pegs, highway bars to stretch your legs, seat cushion, seat contour, and handle bars. And your posture while riding. On my most recent bike I had to bend the handle bars inward a couple of inches. This allowed me to sit up a little straighter and relieved some pressure between my shoulder blades. Moving around while riding helps also.

Do you have a windshield or fairing on your bike? Installing one of those will help also.

Don't worry about the younger kids. The kids these days have the muscle mass of overcooked Pasta. (Just kidding). But you should be able to go the distance between fill ups. For me, that's roughly 150 miles. I noticed you have a CB500. The seats on those bikes ( 450, 500, 750 ) are like sitting on a brick. I've owned them all and had to replace the seat on every one. I even redid the seat on my old Goldwing, and that was pretty comfortable for awhile. Sit on the bike, align you spine to where you are comfortable, and make the bike fit you. Remember, everybody is different.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,918 Posts
Position on the bike is of course important. A position that feels right going slow, may not work as well for highway speeds. That may require a bit of a lean forward. Many have the pegs forward. I could not ride like that. A kidney belt might help. The type we used to use for MX riding. Stretching is always good.

UK
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
26,080 Posts
When I go through smaller towns and my speed gets below 45mph, I take advantage and just stand up. Gives everything a welcome break. I'm good for the next town or gas fueling then. I've had a bad back my whole life so I had to learn how to compensate and this is about as good as it gets for me. Some people are afraid to stand up but it really isn't a big deal. Just use your handlebars and pull yourself up. If you have a helmet with a visor, just be sure to close it first or you'll nearly get your head yanked off. But I stand up any chance I get. Stop lights or signs are another good place. Passing lanes also, just slow down and stand up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
After may accident last year I lost a lot of strength in my core. I'm still in physio and they are working on the lack of strength in this area with some specific exercises to strengthen that area. It seems to be helping. I had also purchased a support belt for the lower back. It also seemed to help. My "core strength" must be improving though because I don't seem to need it as much. I've even forgotten to put it on a couple of times and lasted longer than I would have earlier in the season. I'm not saying this would work for everyone, but it seems to be helping me be able to ride again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
All the suggestions above sound like good advice.

Can you put a back rest on your bike? Might, might not work, its just a suggestion. I have one on my long distance bike, makes me sweat a bit more in that area, but I like the support.
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
15,550 Posts
"Aleve" is my friend. I have compression in the "T" section of my spine. Good for a couple of hours without taking them, all day if I take them before I start my ride.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Porky

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Every bike I've ever owned gave me a back ache Steve, until I sorted things out. Foot pegs, highway bars to stretch your legs, seat cushion, seat contour, and handle bars. And your posture while riding. On my most recent bike I had to bend the handle bars inward a couple of inches. This allowed me to sit up a little straighter and relieved some pressure...
This largely has been my experience -- I've had lower back pain all of my life, surprisingly on a properly setup bike I don't and have been able to ride as long as I can hold my eyes open... but getting the ergonomics right was the key for me... fiddling with handlebar height and pull-back, foot placement and on the last bike, I had the bucket of the saddle moved about an inch by the saddle builder... At least for me, another key is having alternative foot positions -- think about when i drive a car, my feet move around occasionally, so I've tried the same on the bike, uncoils the geriatric knees for a moment and changes the load on the back; likewise hands... throttle-lock or cruise control -- anything that allows you to uncoil your throttle hand periodically...

Some folks have used a back rest -- never did anything for me, so i don't use it, but I do take pains (no pun) to get the ergonomics as good as i can, then allow for modest change of positions while riding -- I hate knowing I have to stop every 80-90 miles, but I've been there
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Every bike I've ever owned gave me a back ache Steve, until I sorted things out. Foot pegs, highway bars to stretch your legs, seat cushion, seat contour, and handle bars. And your posture while riding. On my most recent bike I had to bend the handle bars inward a couple of inches. This allowed me to sit up a little straighter and relieved some pressure between my shoulder blades. Moving around while riding helps also.

Do you have a windshield or fairing on your bike? Installing one of those will help also.

Don't worry about the younger kids. The kids these days have the muscle mass of overcooked Pasta. (Just kidding). But you should be able to go the distance between fill ups. For me, that's roughly 150 miles. I noticed you have a CB500. The seats on those bikes ( 450, 500, 750 ) are like sitting on a brick. I've owned them all and had to replace the seat on every one. I even redid the seat on my old Goldwing, and that was pretty comfortable for awhile. Sit on the bike, align you spine to where you are comfortable, and make the bike fit you. Remember, everybody is different.
Thanks a lot. Glad to see I'm not alone. The CB500F is totally naked and I like how it looks that way so I'm not sure I want to put a windshield or fairings on it. It has a pretty upright seating position but I'll definitely look into a more comfortable after market seat. The bike fits me very well and is one of the main reasons I bought it so I really think it's just my back that's the issue. I have the same problem on long car trips, sitting for long periods at work, sleeping too long...I think it's just the inactivity that causes the soreness. Like I said, I can swim, bike, walk for hours without any back issues at all. It's when I'm not moving that I tend to have issues. Thanks again for the suggestions!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Position on the bike is of course important. A position that feels right going slow, may not work as well for highway speeds. That may require a bit of a lean forward. Many have the pegs forward. I could not ride like that. A kidney belt might help. The type we used to use for MX riding. Stretching is always good.

UK
Thanks...I didn't think about a kidney belt so I'll look into that. Totally agree with you on the stretching...it's part of my daily routine, 7 days a week.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I go through smaller towns and my speed gets below 45mph, I take advantage and just stand up. Gives everything a welcome break. I'm good for the next town or gas fueling then. I've had a bad back my whole life so I had to learn how to compensate and this is about as good as it gets for me. Some people are afraid to stand up but it really isn't a big deal. Just use your handlebars and pull yourself up. If you have a helmet with a visor, just be sure to close it first or you'll nearly get your head yanked off. But I stand up any chance I get. Stop lights or signs are another good place. Passing lanes also, just slow down and stand up.
I've seen riders standing up sometimes but I haven't tried it yet. It really helps when I stand up at red lights, though, so I'll learn how to do it while riding. Thanks for the tip about keeping the visor down, too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After may accident last year I lost a lot of strength in my core. I'm still in physio and they are working on the lack of strength in this area with some specific exercises to strengthen that area. It seems to be helping. I had also purchased a support belt for the lower back. It also seemed to help. My "core strength" must be improving though because I don't seem to need it as much. I've even forgotten to put it on a couple of times and lasted longer than I would have earlier in the season. I'm not saying this would work for everyone, but it seems to be helping me be able to ride again.
Sorry to hear you were in an accident. I hope you get back to 100% soon. Maintaining core strength is actually very important and it's something I neglect to do as often as I should. I actually saw a PT about this because low back pain has been an issue for about 20 years now on and off. She gave me a lot of core strengthening exercises to do and they really did help...when I did them...but sometimes I get lazy and don't. Gotta get back on the bandwagon! I'll also look into a support belt. I see the UPS guys wearing those a lot so there must be something good there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All the suggestions above sound like good advice.

Can you put a back rest on your bike? Might, might not work, its just a suggestion. I have one on my long distance bike, makes me sweat a bit more in that area, but I like the support.
Thanks for the suggestion, I didn't consider that but I'll look into it. Any change in position seems to make the pain go away...so leaning forward, backward, sideways...just anything to change it up works.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
"Aleve" is my friend. I have compression in the "T" section of my spine. Good for a couple of hours without taking them, all day if I take them before I start my ride.
That might work, too. One thing I've noticed is if I exercise BEFORE the ride, I do great. The exercise warms up your whole body and gets everything loose and improves blood flow and circulation. A few weeks ago I went for a 90 minute bike ride, came home, then did a 2.5 hour motorcycle ride without any issues at all. So maybe I need to make that my regular routine...exercise first, then ride (if the schedule permits).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
It's kinda funny, I had a CB600F for about a year and I was always doing things to try to make it more comfortable. When I started trying to figure out how to put highway pegs on it, I finally realized I was on the wrong bike and got a cruiser. I'm a much happier rider now. My Boulevard is not as quick and agile, but I don't need it to be. It's still a lot of fun on the back roads, and gets around in freeway traffic adequately. It'll do until I can get the Goldwing I'm eventually destined for.

The seats on those are miserable. One thing I did was sent the seat off to a guy named Spencer in Florida, who does actual magic with seats. There's not very much room to do a lot to that seat, but what he did helped. I could barely stand to stay on after about 150 miles before, and it was much, much better after. I could pretty much ride all day without my butt hurting. You can check out his page at Spencers Seat Mods - Home Page - Custom Motorcycle Seats, Motorcycle Seat Modifications, Motorcycle Seat Mods and contact him about what he can do for you. Or, you can think about another style of bike.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,918 Posts
It sucks to get older :(
My brother said the same thing yesterday. He will be 75 on 01 August. He had what the doc described as a heart attack in one eye, which is now blind. His depth perception is not good with only one eye working. Consequently he is a danger driving, but he always was. His voice is getting raspy, and he coughs a lot. I reckon he is down to his last 20 years.

UK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Maintaining core strength is actually very important and it's something I neglect to do as often as I should. I actually saw a PT about this because low back pain has been an issue for about 20 years now on and off. She gave me a lot of core strengthening exercises to do and they really did help...when I did them...but sometimes I get lazy and don't. Gotta get back on the bandwagon!
Lower back pain (and sore thighs) is what prompted me to shift my exercise routine away from heavy lifting and little cardio to lighter lifts and... well, slightly more cardio... :smile_big: I did start doing some dedicated "core" exercises and it has made a world difference in staying comfortable while tucked. I still enjoy stretching out after an hour or so...
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top